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Cuomo’s Nuke Bailout: Right Out of the Trump Playbook


#1

Cuomo’s Nuke Bailout: Right Out of the Trump Playbook

Wenonah Hauter

It's a deal Donald Trump would love—let's call it "The Great New York Ratepayer Swindle of 2016-17" —and New York's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is responsible for it. And if giant energy corporations get their way, it could be coming to your state next.


#2

Is there nothing illegal about the government heads signing these deals? Is there no procedure in place that states that if the Leaders of the capital ink a deal above a certain sum needing the tax payer to shell out more that both houses must be consulted or there has to be a referendum?

If there isn't then there should be. That would have stopped the chimp Bush and his gorilla Hank Paulson as well.


#3

Your comment may be construed as dissent since you are questioning Gov. Cuomo's decisions. Perhaps you should look into getting a lawyer?

It is appalling how legalized corruption seems so egregious. Once a politician would be wary of appointing someone who approved a questionable deal to an oversight position! Now it slides by with little more than commentary.

The laws are on the books but guess who enforces them? Our permanent governing elite and the ongoing corporate coup strikes again!

Heck of a thing watching corporate advocates and lobbyists being put in charge!


#4

Neoliberals will never face the facts about the crises humanity faces. Whether the neoliberals are Reagan Republicans, or Clinton Democrats. Neither will ever take the obvious steps needed to stop the decimation of the Earth's ecology. Because both are in bed with their political base - the profiteering looting class.

We need politics that names, opposes, and dismantles the looting class. Any other politics is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.


#5

The taxpayer-funded bailout (corporate giveaway) of decrepit and dangerous upstate nuke plants is rooted in Cuomo's ambition to run for prez and a character defined by corruption and deception. Cuomo IS the other face of the very rotten trump coin. $76 Billion could be used far more constructively, but we and our politicians are now a wholly-owned subsidiary,

Beside this $76 Billion upstate scam, Cuomo is hiding the time-table for clean-up and restoration to pre-industrial condition (greenfield) for the downstate Indian Point Nuke complex that will remain a toxic threat and eyesore for up to 60 years under the "SAFSTOR" scam allowed under another corrupt corporate tool, the NRC.

http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/october/entergy-vermont-yankee-submits-124-billion-decommissioning-safstor-plan interesting read.....

One of the most deceitful, arrogant, and vindictive DINO politician (and corporate whore) money can buy - he will continue to look ridiculous.................


#6

This just one more example of corporate welfare being a growth industry for more than four decades.


#8

Of related importance is this article on the Millstone Long Island Sound nuke plants - as always the NRC does not regulate, but continues as flunky for the nuke industry and public be damned.


#9

76 Billion Dollars Invested in Renewable Energy!

Entire GhostTowns Revitalized to Meet Demand!

Citizens Employed!

Manufacturing Returns to NY !

"Only trouble is, Gee Whiz..."


#10

Just a point or two that you somehow overlooked?

Nuclear power is the most expensive form of energy production and is viable only because it is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

France certainly did invest in nuclear for energy production. However during a summer heat wave, the water temperature in the rivers that cooled the reactors became too hot and as a result nuclear reactors had to be shut down. 30,000 people are known to have died from the heat and later estimates put the total at closer to 70,000 people having died during the forced shutdowns. France is now replacing the reactors and building energy plants using renewable energy.

Nuclear plants definitely emit and their irradiated fuel will need to be maintained for literally tens of thousands of years at great cost to tax payers (a factor excused by nuclear industry lobbyists btw). Current storage facilities have already reported leaking drums of intensely hot radioactive waste which is so hazardous that it can't be removed or the containment vessels replaced. Instead of 'safe' storage lasting a couple of hundred thousand years...it became unsafe in a couple of decades.

Just saying.

Btw. The USA got 10% of its total energy from solar and wind last month! That is a lot of energy - 10%. Solar and wind are far and away the most built new energy infrastructure world wide. Renewables have surpassed coal and fossil fuels to be the cheapest form of energy production. An energy renaissance is occurring in Africa where access to cheap electricity had always been a stumbling block to growth. Texas leads all the states in renewable energy production. You have heard of Texas haven't you? Texan crude? Texas oilmen Texas? Yeah that Texas.

Maybe you start calling it Texas Renewables instead of the old Texas Crude?


#12

You are joking right? You want to pretend to an inability to use solar and wind because they are intermittent? Lol. Well yeah if you are a hermit living on a mountain and dependent on solar and wind then intermittency would most certainly be an issue. That is assuming a lack of storage ability of course. However if you aren't exclusively dependent and have a wealth of other energy production possibilities then the 10% figure is simply the proportion of total energy used!

So yes the country got 10% of its total energy from solar and wind in March!

Well shut my mouth! How much do you think it will get in June? Or in July? I mean how much until new built solar and wind capacity adds to the total?

Maybe you would rather pretend the reality isn't real? Well do have fun with that while yet you can avoid facing reality! Lol


#14

Hmm...time to broaden your reading beyond the nuclear power talking points and include some of the research showing that it is dangerous, highly polluting, unsafe, and an economic boondoggle?


#15

Oh brother!! Have you ever heard of "negative externalities?" When developing a cost-benefit analysis, you don't just focus on dollars and cents--you look at all the potential first, second, and third order effects (and beyond, if you are smart). Economics is more than juggling dollars and cents, it's a system that is supposedly designed to benefit the human beings engaged in it--an exchange of goods and services to benefit real, breathing human beings. Telling us to "listen to the market" is just about as short sighted as it gets. The market rises and crashes according to human agendas and inputs, and in the United States, a look back at the market since this country was established shows very little stability. Economics is not a hard science, it's gooey-soft and shifts according to innumerable variables.


#16

I say we put the spent fuel rods in mcsandberg's neighborhood.

Fukushima you, Dude.


#17

Trog baby! You're back and spewing the same drivel too! Isn't that cute? Troggsy we lubs ya but seriously ... you need to get a life or at least a personality.

Derating is it? See now I needed a laugh and well...there you go helping out like before. Derating! Lol.

Funny how for all your quotes and calculations that there are a great many solar and wind farm facilities in operation and their construction costs and rates of return ( per kw produced) are easily known. Yet your supposed calculations never cite these real world plants and attempt to suggest that if these plants were to be built that the cost would be ruinous... but Trog baby... they were built and they came in cheaper than building a coal plant and are more productive and profitable than fossil fuels or nuclear.

You are a fool to attempt to con people with skewed statistics as to the projected costs when the actual costs of building these plants are already well known. But you play nice now and no fighting with the other mental patients! Ta ta!


#18

Never left. There just hasn't been much that seemed worth commenting on for a while.

"and spewing the same drivel too! Isn't that cute?"

I'm not mcsandberg, but if his (her?) numbers and mine look similar, maybe it's for the same reason so many climate scientists also tend to wind up with similar-looking numbers. Could be a massive conspiracy, or it could just be apparent reality. Take your pick.

I do disagree, however, with the suggestion that for $15 billion, we could build 6 nuclear power plants--if that is referring to the cost of building today's tech nuclear in the U.S. If it is only a reference to what should be attainable, then sure, I'll go along with that, but we are a long ways from that point.

"Troggsy we lubs ya but seriously ... you need to get a life"

I was interested to see if this thread was going to die on the vine without some dissent to inject some life. It looked like it was headed that way. I do find it embarrassing how readily many progressives become anti-science when it goes against their preferred beliefs, but at the same time, I'm only interested in reaching rational people. In some ways, it can actually be useful to have the loonies and cultists on the opposition side.

"or at least a personality."

And what would I do with one of those?

"Derating is it?"

I think that's a common term of art in electronics, referring to operating a device at less than its maximum rating (such as to extend the life of the device). But electronics is not my area, so it's not a term I've ever used myself.

"Funny how for all your quotes and calculations that there are a great many solar and wind farm facilities in operation and their construction costs and rates of return ( per kw produced) are easily known."

I live in Texas. I'm very well aware of how well the wind industry is doing. I also know how heavily it is dependent on cheap gas for backup here, and how the carbon footprint for Texas remains massive.

"Yet your supposed calculations never cite these real world plants and attempt to suggest that if these plants were to be built that the cost would be ruinous..."

I've never had that position. I do think that attempting to get completely off fossil fuels while excluding nuclear from the mix is likely to take up a lot more land area and require a lot more steel, copper, concrete and other materials, and cost more than trying to decarbonize by using all of the best tools we can develop.

"but Trog baby... they were built and they came in cheaper than building a coal plant and are more productive and profitable than fossil fuels or nuclear."

Wind solar advocates talk out of both sides of their mouths when they go on about how cheap and profitable wind and solar are, but also attack any suggestion that, if they are doing so well, then maybe they no longer need to be subsidized and have RE mandates requiring the purchase of anything they produce.

The article here attacks the high cost of the nuclear support in the clean power plan (which amortizes out to roughly 1/3 of a cent per kWh), but the subsidy for wind and solar in it is even higher per unit of electricity generated. So if the reason for opposing the nuclear support is its high cost, it makes no sense to say that money should have instead been added to other subsidies which are already even more expensive.

"You are a fool to attempt to con people with skewed statistics as to the projected costs when the actual costs of building these plants are already well known."

I'm perfectly fine with New York state throwing money behind the buildout of wind and solar. But at this time, nuclear in New York accounts for around 57% of their low carbon electricity generation. Shutting them down at this point would effectively wipe out all the gains made so far from all the other low carbon sources put together. And yeah, I keep hearing how wind and solar can pick up the slack, but somehow, whenever a nuke goes down, the burning of fossil fuels goes up. I think some doubt is justified at this point.

The Clean Power Plan excludes Indian Point, and it's going down. To me, that seems like a good test case. Let's see how well wind and solar do at picking up the slack for that one nuke plant. The other three have the amount of their support revisited and adjusted each two years, so that should be enough time to establish how quickly wind and solar can be built out. If wind and solar really can rapidly replace nuclear, then let's do that first and make the nukes redundant before we shut them down. It just seems like common sense not to sink the boat you're in until you have another boat standing by and ready.


#19

The most environmentally friendly source of power is the nuclear reaction.

Statistics clearly and repeatedly show nuclear power plants as capable of effectively decarbonizing a nations electrical grid (>90% total generation), Nuclear energy clearly avoids the significant avian and insect moralities of wind and solar, and properly sited coolant water intakes minimize aquatic life mortality of nuclear plants with open cooling cycles. Nuclear waste is of less impact than other sources of power (nuclear waste storage + nuclear fuel mining/production + plant sites Total Area is FAR less than individual total areas of renewables: hydro, wind, solar, biomass... and certianly of fossil fuels!!!), the volume of waste produced is de minimus, and the waste is stored at maximum quality for ZERO environmental interaction (ensured by ludicrously exorbitant regulatory compliance costs).

Imagine being able to most of the dams down so the rivers can run naturally again... imagine the sound of insects again at night in the suburbs... what would it be like to have access to electricity so inexpensive that electric cars, trucks, and trains make sense for EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

The solution is not some fancy new coating for a solar panel or some wonky wind turbine blade arrangement that gets you an extra 1% efficiency... with MATURE 1980s and 90s era technology we can easily decarbonize this ENTIRE PLANET in under two decades, and people I PROMISE you thats about all the time we have to get serious about the fact that we cannot keep polluting the earth. Even if we were to cease emissions IMMEDIATELY, there is much energy we as a people need to spend on environmental remediation... shepherding the seas, coasts, and rivers back to life. We depend on the water so much, and it has absorbed the lions share of what pollution we put out. Unless we deal with the issue of maturing energy demands of developed nations... whose populations are by a vast majority coastal... we will suffer grave consequences.

THUS, this ridiculous infighting where greens somehow oppose nuclear must cease. You must support nuclear developments at the expense of all other generation sources first in this country, and then quickly scale up clean industry using this energy source to produce components of these plants for exports to developing nations. This is a proposal that will change the course of our planet and species within two decades. My friends, we must immediately speak as one in support of nuclear power.


#20

And put forth by the Democratic party as a great Prez candidate.


#21

If the New York nukes had the same level of subsidy per unit of electricity generated as wind or solar, they'd be making even more profit than they will under the clean power plan.

"and is viable only because it is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers."

Pretty much every form of generation is subsidized in one way or another. The biggest subsidy is not costing the emissions from fossil fuels.

"France certainly did invest in nuclear for energy production. However during a summer heat wave, the water temperature in the rivers that cooled the reactors became too hot and as a result nuclear reactors had to be shut down. 30,000 people are known to have died from the heat and later estimates put the total at closer to 70,000 people having died during the forced shutdowns."

The death toll across Europe was around 35,000. Roughly half of that was in France. Around 7000 in Germany. The causes for the high death toll in France have been examined extensively, and I've seen no mention of an electricity disruption in any of the analyses. Air conditioning is rare in France, so I don't even know what the theory is for how a disruption could have been a contributing factor.

"France is now replacing the reactors and building energy plants using renewable energy."

For political reasons, the ruling parties have stated their intent to gradually increase the share of electricity generated by intermittent renewables. They haven't started replacing reactors yet and won't for some years. But the volatile French political landscape can change a lot in the meantime.

"Nuclear plants definitely emit"

Mostly trace amounts of C-14 and tritium--both of which are naturally-occurring radioisotopes.

"and their irradiated fuel will need to be maintained for literally tens of thousands of years"

There is no such need. The Finnish approach--whole fuel sequester--will use a sealed entombment after the deep granite repository is full. No maintenance required. If we remove the uranium from spent fuel, that reduces its profile by over 90%, and that uranium can be back-blended into tailings and reburied, or dispersed into the oceans. Again, no maintenance required. Or the uranium and all the heavy actinides can be burned in fast reactors, leaving only fission products. The short-lived products would need to be maintained, but only for around 10 years per batch. The longer lived products would need to be sequestered for a few hundred years. We could look after it, or we could just drop it down a deep borehole and seal it up.

"Current storage facilities have already reported leaking drums of intensely hot radioactive waste which is so hazardous that it can't be removed or the containment vessels replaced."

If it is intensely hot, that means it is highly radioactive. That would mean it has a short half life. Which would mean it won't be hot for very long. But if you are talking about drums of waste, you are not talking about spent fuel from power reactors.

"Instead of 'safe' storage lasting a couple of hundred thousand years...it became unsafe in a couple of decades."

I'm guessing you are conflating the wastes from bomb production. Nobody purported that those drums would be good for even hundreds of years, much less hundreds of thousands.

"Btw. The USA got 10% of its total energy from solar and wind last month!"

Total electricity. Not total energy. Big difference.

"That is a lot of energy"

And nuclear, by itself, generated a lot more electricity than wind and solar combined. So that's an even bigger deal, right?

"Solar and wind are far and away the most built new energy infrastructure world wide."

In terms of nameplate capacity, yes. But the actual increase in generation wasn't even enough to meet new demand. Result: annual burning of fossil fuels is still increasing.

"Renewables have surpassed coal and fossil fuels to be the cheapest form of energy production."

The cheapest energy is probably burning sticks and animal dung--a common practice in many third-world countries. Cheapest electricity is highly variable from one region to another.

"An energy renaissance is occurring in Africa where access to cheap electricity had always been a stumbling block to growth."

Last I heard, coal, gas and oil consumption for Africa was still increasing, and less than 1% of energy in Africa was generated by wind and solar combined.

"Texas leads all the states in renewable energy production."

In fact, our per capita wind production is roughly double that of Germany. (And the credit for that goes mainly to Republicans. The wind boom was kicked off by the RPS passed under Governor Bush and then tripled under Governor Perry--in both cases with both state legislative houses controlled by Republicans.)

"Maybe you start calling it Texas Renewables instead of the old Texas Crude?"

With the boom in wind and solar in Texas, this has been the effect on our carbon footprint:

2004 to 2014: Million metric tons CO2
642.6 618.5 629.5 626.3 590.7 556.8 589.5 608.7 603.2 631.1 641.7

The largest dip was due to the great recession, but our carbon emissions have been increasing in recent years. And that's despite replacing some coal plants with gas plants. The Texas example is a model for how renewables can coexist and even cooperate with fossil fuels--which shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. This is Texas after all.


#22

The most dangerous contamination of the world environment is the dumping of or cursory storage of spent radioactive fuel. Finland has proposed a reasonable response to the storage problem within Finland, but most national responses to the problem is "not in my back yard". Some, if not most nations on the planet are cutting back or terminating nuclear power as a viable and cost effective form of electric energy generation.

If one accepts the existential problems of unsustainable population explosion, destruction of earth's environment, and the acceleration of global warming - and more and more people do - it seems absurd for nations to plan for the construction of new plants more than twenty years into the future. As Guy McPherson describes the condition of civilization that is degenerating under the weight of planetary overheating, unattended plants, which need power and coolant to function safely, will start popping like popcorn.


#23

Yeah, one collaborator lauds another - Cuomo is one of the worst DINO corporate whores and deceitful, vindictive politicians - right out of the NY political playbook - he will never do the right thing unless it is in his political interest, he has zero integrity or honor..............nothing but contempt for Cuomo and all the other Clinton/Obama shills.

Gillibrand, Schumer, Maloney, all follow the Clinton lead NOT supporting universal single payer - they follow the money!